Alex Markwith March 2018.jpg


I make mixed media abstract paintings that often border on sculpture. Historically I am influenced by arte povera, post-minimalism, abstract expressionism and constructivism. The handmade aspect is key, as it is a bridge between the mind and body.

My work begins on the studio floor, with scraps of fabric and paper, canvases, metal rings and twine. The process is intensely manual; intuitive before analytic. One element resonates with another, a third can wrap around the second. I have my hands, a hammer, needle and thread, scissors, acrylic mediums. A stroke of paint intervenes. Does it connect? That is when I step back to examine the spontaneous.


An important concept in my work is the void, which can be interpreted as physical or psychological. It is both manifest nothingness and meditative catharsis, a threat and an aspiration. In my early work I explored this concept through monochrome black paintings, the ultimate reductive palette. Recently I have expanded on this by cutting through the canvas and using absence as part of the compositional structure.


Through painting I am visualizing the unknown. I use and break every convention available. Each decision builds on the previous, leaving a trace.